02/01/2012 03:57 PM
BATON ROUGE – Two dynamic collections from accomplished poets will be released in
March by LSU Press: “The Visible” and “She Let Herself Go.”
In Bruce Bond’s “The Visible,” readers enter into a surreal landscape “where it is
neither day nor night / but both at once,” where light becomes an imaginative force
that both illuminates and obscures. The illegible draws readers closer to the page
– the visible revealed, paradoxically, by what they cannot see.
Though these formally restrained poems possess an abstract and introspective intensity,
Bond grounds them in the everyday. Both vivid and speculative, the chiseled lyrics
breathe. In “My Mother’s Closet,” the pages of medical books become holy and horrendous,
“soiled at the corners, the mind’s / terrific passages shocked with highlight, / glossed
with scratches in a mother’s hand.”
Bond is the author of seven previous poetry collections including “Blind Rain,” and
most recently, “Peal.” He is Regents Professor of English at the University of North
From George Ella Lyon comes a dynamic and humorous collection examining the transformations
of one woman’s life as she tries on, takes on and peels off identities learned from
family stories, gender, fairy tales and myths. “She Let Herself Go” spirals through
girlhood, wifehood, motherhood and writerhood, through the poet’s evolution, casting
a discerning – and often irreverent – eye on the cultural expectations that have shaped
her. Claiming Virginia Woolf as word-mother, these poems converse with powerful feminist
poets, including Muriel Rukeyser, Ruth Stone and Grace Paley.
Beginning with the physical “change of life,” where the poet is “Strung / on muscle
/ of myth and miracle / a uterine knot / of work and words,” Lyon reveals the interiors
of previous selves like the opening of a nesting doll. Although the collection upholds
a unifying theme, Lyon’s work resists homogeneity. As with the many personas the poet
assumes and casts aside, the poems take on wildly divergent shapes that must be recognized
before the parts can be united in a new way.
Lyon’s poetry collections include “Catalpa,” winner of the Appalachian Book of the
Year; “Mountain,” winner of the Lamont Hall Award; and most recently, “Back.” She
is also the author of numerous award-winning books for children. She is a recipient
of fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Hambidge Center for the Arts,
as well as grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Posted on Wednesday, February 1, 2012